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“I apologize to the Ukrainian people for taking part in this,” says Wagner PMC commander who fled to Norway

Andrey Medvedev, a former mercenary of the Wagner PMC and the commander of Yevgeny Nuzhin who was executed by a sledgehammer, has been giving testimony to the criminal police in Oslo, which is investigating war crimes in Ukraine. In a conversation with The Insider, Medvedev described how he managed to cross the border into Norway, and how prisoners recruited by Prigozhin wrote pardon petitions before being sent to war.

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On cooperation with the Norwegian police

I am being interrogated by the Norwegian Criminal Police, which is investigating war crimes in Ukraine. I'm testifying. Yesterday at the last meeting with the police, they decided to give me two weeks off, so [I could] rest, get my thoughts together and see the doctors and take care of my health. In general terms, they are interested in everything that is happening in Ukraine.

I think I will get justice other than through my testimony alone. Perhaps I will find ways and methods. In my case, one of the main goals is to get revenge on the people who caused the death of my best friends, whom I met there. I am already beginning to believe in God, and I hope and believe that the people who are now in charge of the company and who are giving the orders will be punished.

On the executions witnessed firsthand

We came to the firing range in front of the training center in the Alchevsk district – to get new recruits for the platoon. We were ordered to line up. I didn't understand at first and asked the guys, “What is it? Why were we told to line up?” I didn't get it. People from the Wagner security service arrived in cars, in nice uniforms. They took two guys out and made a speech about traitors.

There were trenches. I can't say for sure, but it seemed to me that they were dug, like in boot camp, where they had taught how to make a dugout. And they were shot right there and buried. The Wagner security service, the MED, was responsible for that. They are in the business of rubbing people out. Meeting them means the end either way.

On crossing the border

I met a man, a very good man, Alexander. Who and what he is, I can't say for the sake of his safety. I explained the situation. He helped me, rented a hotel for two days in Murmansk and said he knew where it was possible to cross the border and where the conditions were more favorable. In the end I waited for two days as he was finding out about everything. I called him and said, “I need you to help me get there.” He said that there was a checkpoint there, that he couldn't take me himself because they were checking IDs there, but there was a man who looked like me with a passport. So, we struck a deal, and at the agreed time his friend drove me there, gave me the passport, I showed it at the checkpoint, drove to the crossing point, got out, walked 10 meters, climbed over the first fence, then over the second - and straight into the river, and then went to Norway.

This is a border zone, there is a guard post there, but given the fact that I was driving in a car with Murmansk license plates and had the passport of a Murmansk region resident, they did not have any suspicion.

On pardoning recruited prisoners

I know that on arrival at the assembly point they [the recruits] sign contracts, and they are handed an application for pardon in absentia, before they are sent off to war. Perhaps for them [prisoners] this is a convincing guarantee that they are being told the truth [about the pardon].

On responsibility

I've always said that if a commander had ordered me to kill a civilian, I would have probably blown his head off rather than done it. Personally, I haven't seen or heard of anyone committing crimes against civilians.

I was brought up a patriot of my country, my homeland. In 2022 I understood everything in the first few days after my arrival. I apologize to the Ukrainian people for taking part in this. I think this war should not have happened at all.

Previously, in an interview with The Insider, Medvedev said that he knew of ten cases in which Wagner PMC fighters executed mercenaries who refused to participate in hostilities. According to him, he had personally witnessed several executions.

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